ChatGPT's solution to fixing Elephant Units in the early game: Elephant Riders!

Elephant units are really impractical in the early game, primarily(according to viper and mbl) because they can be converted so easily. There’s also issues of slowness and such, but they’re less important than instantly giving an enemy the most powerful unit in the game, and even a beginner can manage to convert an elephant! The obvious answer is conversion resistance, but that has issues as well, since it could make elephants OP in the lategame.

Looking for new ideas, I plugged the problem into ChatGPT, and one of the suggestions it offered was to have Mahouts(elephant riders), that allowed a unit to garrison on an elephant, and provided conversion resistance to nearby units.

Now that would be a bit too powerful, but it does provide an interesting idea! What if you could use a garrisoned unit as a shield for that particular elephant?


First off, give all elephants at least 1 garrison capacity. They can garrison infantry or archers inside, like a ram, which depending on balance could increase their stats or not. War Elephants, to be special, might have 2 garrison capacity, or even 3 for Elite war elephants.

Now, if the elephant is converted, instead of converting the elephant, it converts the mahout! It’s ejected from the elephant as an enemy unit! This is still an issue, but nowhere near as much of an issue as before, since converting an infantry or archer isn’t anywhere near as big a deal as losing an elephant. It WOULD discourage garrisoning spearmen, however.

The really important part here is, this is something that is only really useful in the early game! In the lategame, it will be far better not to waste limited APM on individually garrisoning each elephant, not to mention wasting valuable population space on these units that could be better spent on units that actually do something useful!

This accomplishes the goal of making elephants more viable in the earlier parts of the game, without the issues of becoming OP in the lategame!


Change the title to “Chat GPT solution for Mahouts”. Hope it will get more attention.


not sure if theres shift garrison. if there is then it won’t be much of an issue, especially monk can shift convert and queue up. totally worth it to lose 30 skirms instead of 30 elephants. if shift garrison is a thing then hold the key down and just spam click elephant and you’re good to go, 3-5 sec tops

Hah, I wasn’t sure if people wouldn’t dismiss that out of hand, but sure, why not.

You’re probably right, but even if you could, I don’t think most players would be willing to sacrifice the population space of all those units! You’d basically be giving up 30 pop cap for that conversion resistance, space which could probably be better used for either eco or more military units.

I’m sure somebody could find a use, but the idea is that it’s mostly not something typical players will do in the late game, instead controlling larger masses of ungarrisoned elephants.

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its not so bad. if they try to kite you with pikes the skirms come out and kill them. not 100% goes to waste. they protect skirms while inside against mangonels and the like.

symbiosis organism
skirms 20%
elephanto 70%
player 10%

Out of curiosity, I just modified a bunch of rams to have 1 garrison capacity in the editor and tried to garrison them all. I could typically get the first row very easily, but the second row took a lot more effort, and by the third row it was just not worth it at all, taking 60+ seconds to get them all. So practically speaking, I think the realistic limit would be somewhere around 10 elephants, since that’s when you start getting 3 layers and garrisoning becomes a lot more difficult.

That said, Honestly, I think your idea is still a LOT better than what we currently have! Which is to say, basically just building such huge masses of elephants in team games they become unstoppable, since you obliterate their army and they can’t keep up enough unit production to do anything to the ones that are left!


I love this idea of mahuts. Certainly unique.

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I realize this is only somewhat related but wouldn’t it be nice (and maybe there is some little known way to do this I’m not aware of) to say I want these units to garrison amongst these rams, transports, etc.

You can shift click to try in series but of course it become a path finding nightmare.

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I agree to a certain extent, but it’s also nice to have Mastery of unit control and formations and the like rewarded with Superior results.

I would prefer it if instead they would just make units move a little bit more consistently, so players can become more skillful at controlling them, and then players would be able to get better at it, rather than just smacking their head against the wall like they currently have to do.

For example, say you have four transports that you want to fill up, a skillful player could quickly take their army and split it with the split formation, and then select each side and split it in turn, and quickly Garrison all of them in their appropriate transport ship.

Unfortunately, at present, the way units smash into each other and overlap and all makes this difficult or impossible. I really think that they need to seriously focus on really fine-tuning the pathfinding as their next priority.

Unfortunately I don’t think pathfinding is going to improve that much and that isn’t to throw shade at the devs.

Basically there are different algorithms out there for pathfinding. In general there are fast(not computationally intensive) algorithms that produce ok results, and slow(computationally intensive) that produce optimal results.

I don’t have PROOF but I assume aoe2, to provide overall optimal performance, uses one of the faster algorithms.

I do see the jist of your point though. Maintaining precision while improving loading and unloading would be optimal.

Perhaps instead, maybe if rams and transports had larger “loading zones” that’d help. Maybe you don’t need to be touching the transport but so long as you’re within one tile the game says that’s good enough, and that clears unit out of the way to move. It’d also make it so there’s a larger circumference of valid entry.

Hypothetically if the radius is too large you could conceive of some exploit of transporting through walls and whatnot.

Conversely perhaps if a unit is currently attempting to garrison into a ram or transport, then within x tiles of the intended target, the collision box for the garrisoning unit decreases.

Hypothetically you could conceive of some exploit where your steppe lancers or kamayuks are being chased, and you run them to a transport then cancel at the last minute. Because of the reduced collision box they’d be super tight together and a horrible death ball to attack. It’d be tight patrol on #########